Written by  :  Maury Markowitz (248)
Written on  :  Dec 31, 2003
Platform  :  Windows

6 out of 11 people found this review helpful

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Hey look, it's Marathon 4!

The Good

Way back in the day Bungie was a Mac developer. Their greatest release, for many, was a great Doom-a-like called Marathon. Marathon not only had better graphics and sound -- a side effect of Macs actually being better for that until the mid-90's -- but had an incredible backstory and amazing multiplayer back when that was rare.

After doing the wonderful Myth they started talking about Halo. I couldn't wait, it looked like it was going to be Marathon x 10. But I had to wait... and wait... and wait. Then they got bought by MS, then the Mac version got canned, then it went x-box only. Finally after what, FOUR YEARS, it's out on the PC.

And sadly, it's not Marathon x 10. It's better, sure, and the hardware-based 3D graphics are excellent, but really, this is just Marathon with vehicles. The physics are better (but come on, flight sims were doing this a decade ago), but the weapons are mostly the same, the action is similar in many ways, even parts of the story seem to be lifted from Marathon.

One oddity is that it does seem to play a lot better on the Mac than Win. I see a lot of complaints here about the performance, but I was playing it on a iMac without anything fancy and it seemed fine.

The Bad

When I heard MS was buying Bungie I got the feeling they would loose all of the originality that made Bungie the company to beat. Seems I was right.

I guess if they had actually released it back then it wouldn't be so bad. But today it really does feel like a four year old game.

The Bottom Line

Definitely a good game, and it was certainly ahead of its time -- but that time was three years ago.